With a leak just eight days before the release date, “Take Care” – Drake’s attempt at defeating the sophomore slump – is digitally available for purchase and in stores everywhere. An album leaking allows people to prematurely judge a project and the hype around the leak can take away from the message. Everyone’s been so caught up with shooting slugs at Drake exposing even more of himself – emotionally – on “Take Care” that they’re missing just how borderline genius this project really is.

Yes, men have an issue with just how much emotion/singing/etc. is being put on display once again by the twenty-five year old rapper, but I found something interesting happening as I checked my social networking sites.

Not as many men were complaining about it this time around.

The presence of Rick Ross, LIl’ Wayne, and Andre 3000 may have contributed to the lessened amount of disagreement, but I’d like to think that Drake’s open heart policy style of rapping is being more accepted. At this point, people should either decide to accept his mechanism or just don’t listen. Of course, that’d be too much like right because people have to have SOMETHING to say at all times.

To the album, though; the ambience of “Take Care” is reminiscent of “So Far Gone” but I can hear traces of “Comeback Season” Drake in this as well. I think of it as “Thank Me Later” was skipped in the progression of his sound, if we’re going into sequential order regarding growth. TML was, by no means, a throwaway album, but “Take Care” fits better in Drake’s discography if “Thank Me Later” never existed. For now, “Take Care” is bursting with elements that other albums this year cannot possess: unapologetic honesty, raw emotion, and Kendrick Lamar spittin’ on an interlude.

Would I go ahead and say that this is the album of the year? … The year’s not over yet. What makes me hesitate on giving Drake that credit is that I haven’t gotten accustomed to this just yet. There isn’t an instant love that I feel for every single track: Just Blaze did his thing on “Lord Knows” but Rick Ross’s presence makes me leery and standoffish. “Over My Dead Body” is better for its backing vocals – provided by The Weeknd – than its lyrics and “Crew Love” is an obvious single that I could personally do without.

It wasn’t love at first listen for me, but all was not lost. “Take Care”, the title track featuring Rihanna, is a stand out single for obvious reasons. T-Minus’s production on “Underground Kings”, “We’ll Be fine”, and “HYFR (Hell Ya Fuckin’ Right)” featuring Lil’ Wayne definitely puts me in an “excuse me while I feel myself” realm. The latter takes me back to Houston and I love every second of it because of that.

My favorites are “Doing It Wrong”- for its utter truth and Stevie Wonder’s harmonica makes the world right all over – “Cameras/Good Ones Go” – shout out to Drake for co producing “GOG” – and the Chase N Cashe-produced “Look What You’ve Done”, a heartfelt ode to his mother and biggest supporter that rehashes his rebellious years, struggle to come up and appreciation for her assistance in helping him accomplish all he has thus far. His gratuitous tone is admirable and would make every male hug their mother a little closer after listening.

If they’re not too hung up on outwardly showing a woman affection and emotion, that is.

I’ve never knocked Drake for his lyrics; as a woman, I commend him for opening up consistently and never straying away from his lane. One day, people will stop calling him names and start doing the same. The world would be a much more honest place.

In the mean time, Drake did well on “Take Care”. I’m not even sure what it is exactly I want from him but I found good in “Take Care” and I was happy with it, all in all.

P.S. “Hate Sleeping Alone” is THAT shit; I just don’t endorse some of the shit he calls out (lol)

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